With a pint of buttermilk to use up and a hankering for some homemade bread, I went online this afternoon looking for a new bread recipe. I found many, but had to make some changes based on the ingredients I had on hand and made this tonight for the first time. I believe it to be the best homemade bread recipe I've ever used. The crust is glossy, richly browned, and slightly chewy; while the center is moist and tender with a lovely fine texture. Its flavor is mild and rich at the same time with only a slight taste of yeast ~ truly a divine loaf of bread! This is my modified version.
Bloom yeast in the warm (about 110 degrees) water and ginger for about 5 minutes or until yeast is starting to look a little foamy.
In a large bowl, combine the lukewarm buttermilk, sugar, salt, baking soda, lukewarm melted butter, and the yeast mixture.
Add 3 cups of the flour and mix on low speed of an electric mixer for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining 3 cups of flour one cup at a time and mix with dough hook until mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes) or knead with dough hook of a stand mixer for about 10 minutes on low speed.
Place dough into a large well greased bowl, turning the dough to grease the top, cover, and let rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Divide dough into two equal pieces, shape and place in the two buttered loaf pans. Oil tops and cover loosely with plastic wrap (oiled to prevent its sticking to the bread) and let rise until doubled in volume (about an hour this time).
Brush with 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water for a nice glossy top.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cover loaves loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil (IMPORTANT do not skip this step) and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.